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News Story
Updated: 11/26/2013 02:52:01PM

Review: Officer used ‘justifiable deadly force’ in shooting

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NORTH PORT — The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office investigation into the officer-involved shooting on Oct. 22 by North Port Police Officer Aaron Nick is complete, and the state attorney’s office has concluded that the response was a justifiable use of deadly force, the SCSO reported Tuesday.

Nick observed a suspicious vehicle on Toledo Blade Boulevard just north of Interstate 75 around 10:49 p.m. The driver, later identified as James Duttman, 58, of Pembroke Pines, Fla., opened the van door and brandished a gun. Despite numerous commands by Nick to put the weapon down, Duttman did not drop the weapon and appeared to switch the firearm to his other hand, at which time Nick discharged his firearm two times in self-defense. The entire incident from the time the officer stopped his vehicle until the time of discharging his weapon was slightly less than 60 seconds. In his summary, Chief Assistant State Attorney Craig Schaeffer notes that Nick’s sworn version of events is corroborated by the video and audio recording of the incident. It also cites “credible evidence” from recent Pembroke Pines Police Department reports that indicate Duttman’s intention may have been “suicide by cop.” The SAO concluded it was reasonable for Nick to believe he was in imminent danger of death or serious bodily injury at the hands of an armed Duttman, and therefore the shooting was the result of justifiable use of deadly force.

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